Tuesday, October 26, 2010

craziness in 2 Alabama counties: Jefferson County(includes Birmingham) and Mobile County(Mobile)

In Jefferson County, Alabama, the Jefferson County Health Action Partnership, American Lung Association of Alabama and Mississippi(and if I were president of the United States, I'd so immediately end the ALA's tax exempt status, along with the ACS and AHA, for all the times they've contributed to selfish smoking ban campaigns that do nothing but unnecessarily stomp on the rights of individual business owners to cater to smokers, not to mention such businesses are rare to find in today's world, other than smoker-friendly businesses that are adult-only bars and nightclubs, or a restaurant that restricts kids/minors from entering) and the Jefferson County Mayors Association Jefferson County Health Department have signed on to this absolutely selfish proposal by the Jefferson County Department of Health to get BOTH the county board to pass a ban for unincorporated areas, plus get all 30+ municipalities(including the city of Birmingham, AL) to ban smoking by 2012! Maybe a visitor to my blog can confirm this or not, but I thought Birmingham's smoking ordinance only banned smoking in workplaces and restaurants, but not bars? The article states that only 2 communities in Jefferson County, Homewood and Fairfield, have gone as far to ban smoking in both restaurants and bars. (and I'm already making a mental note to NOT spend even one penny in both these communities, if I ever make it back to the Birmingham metropolitan area)

Two side notes: I've only driven through Birmingham once via I-65, but wouldn't mind actually visiting the city for myself one day. Hopefully my next trip there isn't just driving through it via the interstate! This sadly reminds me of other cities where I've never seen the core of the city(but just the outskirts along the interstate, and which is so fregging boring!), such as Lexington, KY and Macon, GA. Also, I definitely recall Michael Nutter(who the article mentions) was the chief author(and back then he was just a Philly city council member, and not city mayor, as he is today) of the Philadelphia bill that established a near-total smoking ban in Philadelphia, that only exempted businesses with 90% or greater alcohol sales, and bans smoking in 100% of casino gaming floors(stricter than the 2008 Pennsylvania statewide ban, which exempts any bar with 80% or greater alcohol sales, and 50% of casino gaming floors can be designated as smoking). I may post a comment on this article, eventually!


Second one is Mobile County, where as of October 1st of this year, the county health department(Mobile County Health Department) has begun to pathetically deduct 4 points off the inspection score of each private business that allows smoking. This policy to deduct points just for a business permitting smoking is a ridiculous joke, if any indoor SHS exposure is 'so dangerous', then why hasn't the Mobile County Board and all local municipalities within Mobile County(including the city of Mobile) banned the sale of ALL tobacco products?

One poster on the Smokers Club board(and rightfully so!) has already joked we should deduct 4 points from smoke-free businesses, and pointed out that a Chinese restaurant in the county that permits smoking(Kangaroo Express, which scored 89 after a 4 point deduction) would be a better quality business to patronize than another Chinese restaurant that's totally smoke-free(China King, which would score 86 if you pretend it's a restaurant that allows smoking, and theoretically deduct 4 points from it).
http://www.smokersclubinternational.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=12466 (the topic where we joked about this)

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